Extreme rates of premature death prior to the advent of modern medicine, very low rates of premature death in First World nations with low rates of prayer, and the least flawed of a large series of clinical trials indicate that remote prayer is not efficacious in treating illness. Mass contamination of sample cohorts renders such clinical studies inherently ineffectual. The required supernatural and paranormal mechanisms render them implausible. The possibility that the latter are not benign, and the potentially adverse psychological impact of certain protocols, renders these medical trials unethical. Resources should no longer be wasted on medical efforts to detect the supernatural and paranormal.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Competing interests: None.
Read the full text or download the PDF:
Other content recommended for you
- Just another drug? A philosophical assessment of randomised controlled studies on intercessory prayer
- Responding to religious patients: why physicians have no business doing theology
- “A kind of agonie in my thoughts”: writing puritan and non-conformist women’s pain in 17th-century England
- Retroactive prayer: a preposterous hypothesis?
- Complementary and alternative medicines
- Retroactive prayer: lots of history, not much mystery, and no science
- Prayer as a pain intervention: protocol of a systematic review of randomised controlled trials
- Effects of remote, retroactive intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients with bloodstream infection: randomised controlled trial
- Mental illness and cultural issues in West African films: implications for orthodox psychiatric practice
- Health, equity, justice and globalisation: some lessons from the People's Health Assembly